Hosted by Jodi Hildebrandt.
A lot of relationship conflict is the result of miscommunication. And a lot of societal conflict is the result of the same miscommunication. Miscommunication happens when we believe our meaning of a word is the only meaning, while another person or group has a different meaning. We get into conflict (drama) when we attempt to impose our meaning onto someone else’s words. Communication breaks down.
Are we able to stay in relationships if people don’t agree with what we mean, or do our relationships dissolve? Do I have compassion for others’ meanings, or do I feel threatened by their meanings?
We each have the responsibility to understand one another—to learn what the other person means when they use a word, before we react in fear or anger.
The question, “Who defines what words mean?” pertains to every single relationship on the planet.
PDF Version: Episode 75: WORDS—What do they Mean?
Episode 75: WORDS … What Do They Mean?
Welcome to ConneXions Classroom Podcast. We are so excited to introduce to you the opportunity for you to join us in a classroom setting where you will be taught the principles of connection. For those of you who have already joined us on the podcasts, and for those for you who have not, you are now ready to step into an extensive hands-on, all-star classroom experience to better understand why you are experiencing and interpreting life the way that you do.
You will be introduced to the foundational principles of personal integrity which are: how to live impeccable honesty, rigorous personal responsibility, humility, vulnerability, openness, willingness, transparency, and boundaries.
This is a 12-week intensive course that consists of meeting one time a week for two hours. You will be given six workbooks. In each workbook, instruction will be given to you on core concepts of how to live your life from a position of emotional honesty, reality, Truth, boundaries, validation, being able to recognize your distortion, and how choice plays a central role in all of your experiences and emotional outcomes.
Some of the concepts covered inside of the classroom include: what validation and vulnerability is and how to animate those principles your life, how to live in Truth rather than distortion, how to recognize your distraction, your controlling behavior in your relationships, and how to live a life of peace rather than pain. Powerful concepts that change lives beginning with yours.
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Welcome and thank you for joining me today. I’m Jodi Hildebrandt. It is July 2nd, 2016, and I am so excited to talk to you today about the power of words, and what words means, and who places meaning onto words.
Before I go there, I want to share an experience or experiences that I’ve had over the last eight or nine months around why this has become so interesting and important to me. So, we have created what’s called ConneXions Academy. It is a classroom and I’m going to talk a little bit about that here in a minute.
However, as I’ve been teaching this class, there are 20, 30, 40 people in a class at the time, and it has become very obvious to me that the meaning of words, the meaning that we place on our words, our expectations, our assumptions, our ideologies, is so important in that I need to be able to share me with you, and one of the main ways that I do that is I use language, so whether it’s body language, whether it’s verbal language, I am sharing my language with you. And if you don’t interpret my meaning of my language the way that I interpret my meaning, then you and I are not going to communicate. You and I are going to miss each other and usually what happens is that you and I start having emotions that indicate that we have missed each other on the path of communicating and something is off.
And so, as I sit and listen to people simultaneously tell me their different meanings, I’ll say a word and there can be five different interpretations, like I said, simultaneously as people are in the classroom, and it’s like wow, no wonder there’s so much problem in communicating, because we all have our own unique interpretation, our own unique meaning about things—which is great, it’s awesome. And for many of us, we also have these expectations that when people speak, they will mean what I mean about what it is that you’re saying, if that makes sense.
Or you know, in today’s world we’ve got a lot of PC going on, a lot of political correctness. And so, a lot of us are afraid to put our own meaning on certain words, or certain phrases, or certain belief systems, in fear that it’s going to offend another person.
And so, I want to invite anyone who’s listening to this podcast to really get clear about what the meanings of your words are. You need to know what you mean when you say things, and also you need to know what you’re afraid to say, what you are hesitant to say because of possible backlash, or reaction, or someone being silent, or isolating. Some kind of perceived or real punishment that would come because of a meaning that you placed on a word. Because really, you know, words are pretty benign. Words, depending on who’s speaking them, they really can’t hurt you as far as, take you out spiritually.
However, depending on how much meaning you place on them, it can feel like they are or that they can hurt you.
I’m going to hit a pause button really quick and talk to you a little about the academy. So, here at ConneXions Classroom we have created another classroom. So, one of the classrooms is where the podcasts are, and the other classroom is called ConneXions Academy.
This is an online and in-person classroom, depending on if you can get to the in-person or not. If you are someplace else in the country or the world, please join us online.
We have created six workbooks that go through many of the concepts and the topics that I discuss in the podcast. We talk about surrender, and drama, and co-dependency, and triggers, and distorted thoughts, and forgiveness, and how to appropriately “clean up your side of the street,” called repentance. We talk about distractions and distortions.
And so, these workbooks build upon a foundation of understanding that you are going to have experience, and experience is neutral, and then as I have these experiences, how do I keep experience in Truth, in Reality? And manage my emotions, and the things that are just constant, such as, I’m vulnerable, I feel emotion, people are going to give different interpretations of what my experience is, how do I hold boundaries?
So, if any of these podcasts have been interesting to you, and you’ve enjoyed them, I would really encourage you to come to the classroom. It’s very reasonably priced. We want to make it so that anyone can come and participate in this. They are 12 weeks long, they run once a week for two hours. And like I said, we give you workbooks so that you always have homework so you’re working on something.
So, if that’s interesting to you, get on www.connexionsclassroom.com , hit the “Go To The Academy” button, and all the dates and times will drop down in a drop box, and just choose the class that you want to attend and we’ll see you there.
So, let’s go back to words, and what do words mean? And who places the meaning on words? You know, is it Webster’s Dictionary? Is it some other kind of book that man has made that says, okay, here’s the meaning for this word? And that’s fine, just know where your meanings come from.
And maybe you have a meaning that you got from your childhood, and you don’t even know where it comes from. Maybe great-grandpa gave it to you, and you’re questioning that meaning now, because you’re not quite sure if you agree with that meaning. That’s good, because it means you’re thinking! It means that you’re open to new interpretation.
So, you need to know who places the meaning on your words. So, as you think about words, well for me anyways, when I think about words, I look at words as a mechanism to communicate what I think, what I perceive, what I expect, what I hope for, what I pray for, what I believe in, what I defend, what I stand for, what I stand against. Words are a way to share with another person me, and all those things about me: my expectations, my assumptions, my fears, my goals. Everything about me, words are used.
Now, there’s also another way to communicate and that’s through body language. And so, we could say that our body language sends messages to another person as well. However, it’s very challenging when someone is using only body language, because it’s open for incredible translation by the other person, of what that body language actually is meaning. And so, at some point you’ve got to bring your words in, and say, “Hey, that interpretation you just made about my body language is not the correct interpretation for me.”
And so, here’s the challenge: when you speak words, they travel between you and another person. And they can oftentimes lose their personal interpretation and clarity of your translation. This is a lack of accurate interpretation of what the other person means.
So, it’s very important that I am interpreting things correctly according to the other person. If I’m with someone and they’re sharing something with me, I need to be hooked into them, and I need to continue to ask questions and say, “Okay, what do you mean by that?” Or, “Help me understand what your interpretation is, of what you just said. Not my interpretation.”
So, the breakdown of communication happens because I am not interpreting what you mean. It’s really important, the whole podcast is going to be about my ability to put my interpretation, my agenda, my meaning aside as I’m interacting with you, and listen to you, and ask questions about you and what you mean about what you said.
So, the breakdown of communication happens when I am not interpreting what you mean, and then the breakdown happens when you don’t accurately interpret what I mean. So, you can see what a mess that could be. I’m not interpreting your meaning, and you’re not interpreting my meaning. A person can’t even get to the part in the communication where they can agree or disagree with the other person because they’re getting caught in the exchange, and not understanding the other.
We all want, and all we need, to be understood. We all need to be heard, and seen, and witnessed, and acknowledged. Yet, we demand in our relationships, that the other do that for us instead of us doing it for them first. So, what we are needing to be able to do is first understand the other—which is called validation.
So, there’s lots of ways to validate, and one of the ways to validate is to ask questions like, “So, what did you mean when you said that?” Or, “Help me understand when you did this particular gesture with your body what you wanted me to understand.” We need to understand the other person before we seek to have them understand us.
So, when a person is not validating another, they get caught up and distracted by the other person’s words. The person’s words become my way of knowing what they mean, what they feel, what they desire, etc. This is what I believe because when someone uses a word like I’m cold or it’s bitter or why did they do that? And depending on my or the listener—that’s who I am, I’m the listener—depending on my ability to listen and interpret the literal understanding and interpretation, and the level of my distorted interpretation, it either becomes really clear to me what they mean, or I project my interpretation onto them.
So, it’s like they’re telling me what I’m cold means and I’m saying, “No, I’m cold means something else.” So, it’s evidence that I’m not listening to them at all. I’m only having a conversation with my own self-centeredness and my own agenda of what I think is correct, or best, or good, or right.
It’s me projecting my things onto you. And me then telling you that I’m listening, and that I understand. I mean, it’s like what?! There’s no way to understand if I’m projecting my interpretation onto you and I’m not hearing what you’re saying. The only way I understand your meaning of words is to say to you, “So, what I heard you say was…” And then, repeat back as exactly the words that I heard them say. And when I say exactly the words, I’m talking about, like, the words, use their words that you heard—don’t interpret them. And then, ask if that is correct.
And then, I must ask you what you meant by the words that you spoke, not my interpretation of the words that you spoke, not my meaning. I need to say to you, “What do you mean when you say: ‘Why did you do that?’ Or ‘It’s bitter.’ Or ‘I’m cold.’?” A person uses words to communicate their meaning of their feelings, their perceptions, their fears, their expectations, their concerns, and triumphs—not yours. Words are awesome. Words are ways that we use to connect and share ourselves with others.
But words are neutral. So why is it that we become reactionary around them? Why do we tell others, “Don’t say that?” Or, “That’s mean.” Or, “I can’t believe you said what you did.” Why, if words are neutral, why do so many of us act like they’re not?
So, we’ve just been talking about that: why are so many of us getting so reactionary around words? And it’s because we place our own meaning onto the words that others speak. Words are not bad, they’re not wrong. The meanings we place onto the words are what gives energy or animates the word or the language, and thus creates a stage where the words appear to come to life. The words you speak mean something different to another.
So, so important that you understand that, so I’m going to say it again.
The words that you speak maybe different than what somebody else speaks. You are not the one that gets to say what other people mean—they are. And so, if you find yourself triggered by something that someone says, that’s fine that you’re triggered, just be responsible for the fact that that’s your trigger, it’s not about their words, it’s about your interpretation of what their words mean to you.
The words you speak can be translated into a different meaning than somebody else.
That’s as simple as this is. This is not personal, it doesn’t need to be offensive, they’re only words. So, I want you to think about like what happened to the statement “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me”? Why is it that we’re becoming hurt because of the meaning I place on the words that you speak? It’s not because of the words themselves. It is our literal meaning that’s causing this.
So remember, words are neutral. They are bland at best. They are not powerful at all until meaning gets put onto the words. So, remember words are a sequence of letters being placed together on a page to create meaning, so we are capable of communicating with each other, and we both—both of us, me and the other person, are responsible for what is being communicated. Both parties are responsible for engaging in trying to understand, and validating, and empathizing with the other before you seek to be understand. That’s super important because many of us very much want to be understand before we understand, and this is where we enter into all sorts of drama—all sorts of drama. It’s like, someone says something, someone does something, and boom, I interpret it through my lens of my own meaning and then I project that meaning onto them, and you and I are in drama—well I don’t know that the other person has to go into drama, but it is such a seductive invitation to go into drama from that position.
Let me ask you some questions. Are words good or bad? Are they wrong or wrong? Are they all or nothing? Are they mean or nurturing? I want you to think about that. What are words? What’s the meaning of them? You are the one that gets to interpret what your words mean, if they’re good or bad, right or wrong, all or nothing, mean or nurturing. And I would suggest to you that they’re none of those things—that they are vehicles to help me be understood by you and help me understand you as well.
So, I want to be understood and I want to understand you, and words are the mechanism to have that kind of outcome.
Words are not about hurting another person unless you take something really personal.
I want you to think about your meaning, and where your meaning came from and comes from. It’s really important that you think about that: where are my meanings coming from?
And I want you to think about, can there be more than one meaning for words? And how conscious am I about my and other’s meanings? Another word to use around meanings is motives when words are used.
Do you know why words mean what they do?
How come certain words mean something the way that they do to me?
Can you change meanings? Are you even open to that?
Or are you fearful about changing meanings?
Or maybe you’re fearful because there are people in your life that you would have some kind of negative consequence around if you changed meanings?
My point is, is that you are free. You are free to think and interpret any way you would like. And your meaning of your interpretation is not the end-all be-all for everyone else. It just means it’s accurate for you.
So, I want to read off just a handful of words, well they’re more than a handful, there are probably about 50 of them here, and I want you to think about what these words mean to you. And if you find yourself reacting to a word, then write it down. Write it down and go, “Why do I get so triggered when she mentioned that word? Why am I having an emotional reaction to that word?” — a pleasant emotional reaction or an unpleasant emotional reaction. Because my goal is not to provoke you, like provoke you into anger, that’s not my goal. My goal is to provoke you to THINK, to be conscious about what meaning you place on to words. Especially a sequence of words.
So, I’m going to say some things that are probably politically incorrect. And that’s my whole point, is to help you understand what political correctness and lots of other things in our world are actually doing to each of us. They are inviting us into feeling afraid or confused, and I want to invite you back to yourself, so that you may interpret your own meaning onto words or phrases.
[00:23:14] The List of Words
So, here are the list of words. When I use the word perfect, what do you think, what do you feel? What does that mean to you?
Perfect. Like I am perfect or I am not perfect. Or things must be perfect.
The word wrong.
Dictate or dictator.
Enough. Like, I’m not enough or it’s enough.
The word no.
The word bad.
The word can’t. — I can’t. You can’t.
Okay, I just read off a ton of words to you, and I want you again to think as I read those words, or if you rewind this and listen to it again, what words elicited certain emotions in you? Understand that. Understand it, so that you don’t go and just react and cause all sorts of conflict for yourself. Words are neutral. Your meaning is what animates them. Your meaning—and your meaning is only your meaning.
Now, you might find lots of people who agree with your meaning, which is fine. However, you do not get to—and neither do I—get to hook up with masses of people who agree with you and say, “Well, we have more people than you do, so we’re more right.” That’s what causes divisiveness in our world. This is what causes us to fight with each other, to hate each other, to judge each other. We need to stop doing that. We need to start understanding each other. We need to start hearing each other and interpreting correctly because all of us are down on the planet needing, wanting to connect with each other, and many of us get so hotheaded and reactionary around the meanings of words, and we immediately disconnect from other people.
So, our unconsciousness invites us to only consider a particular meaning. And therefore not consider any other person’s meanings. You’re not thinking for ourselves about what you think words and phrases mean to you, you’re not thinking for yourself. It’s like this is what they mean, period. And you need to open up your mind to consider that there might be more interpretations than what you think you mean, as though it’s the only one, the only interpretation. That you are right.
You and everyone else are free souls, and you and I have a responsibility to think and speak from a position of consciousness and emotional honesty. You and I are responsible to know what you mean and why you think and feel and mean what you say and do.
So, be aware, try not to let fear—or another way to say fear is your distorted thoughts, your false beliefs—dictate to you your meanings. Think for yourself. Be open. Maintain what feels and what you perceive to be appropriate for you. And as you live in this manner, you will also be responsible for the outcomes of the choices you make, which is reasonable because through those outcomes and choices you can keep your meanings and perceptions. So, you keep them aware, like they’re conscious. And you can also say, “Hey, I choose to change those meanings and perceptions.” But let that change come through conscious, deliberate, awake choices, and the outcomes that follow, and not change your meanings because you’re afraid, or you feel coerced, or threatened, or confused, or controlled. Don’t change your meanings because you’re being dictated to by another person, or a group, or a thing that is appearing full of threat or power. If it has victim in it, or it’s just really loud, or acting persecutory. Don’t change your meaning because of that. Change it because you absolutely agree with that that person or those people are saying to you, and you want to support that position.
I want to talk next about motive. So, motive and meaning are pretty much synonymous: it’s like what’s driving you, what is your motive. So, what is motive? Motive is everything, and you can’t see your own or someone else’s motive, or force you to have a particular motive unless you give yourself other to another’s control, another’s correctness—like political correctness, or if you give yourself over to another person’s power, or influence, or manipulation, or opinions. If you just kind of say, “Okay, I’ll just go along with you because that feels right.” Or, “I don’t want you upset.” Or, “I’m tired of discussing this.” That’s when you give your will, or your motive, or your meaning, over to someone else.
Your motive can be mostly one or the other of these two things: your motive can be mostly unconscious or your motive can be mostly conscious, depending on how well you know yourself, and thus care for yourself. As I love and care for myself—truly love and care for myself—my motives will be towards connection, empathy, understanding, vulnerability, validation, peace and love. As I do that, I will want to connect with not only myself, because I’ll be loving and caring for myself so I will be in connection with myself, but I also want to connect with God or my Higher Power, and I want to connect with you.
And so, another word for motive is learning how to be emotionally honest. Another word for meaning is being able to be emotionally honest with myself so that I know what my meaning is. When I desire to control, or dominate, or take, or force, or threaten, or “make” someone, or coerce, or intimidate, or shame, or blame, or threaten, or act like I’m more right, or gossip, or only want you to see my side, I am in a disconnected position, and I am not being emotionally honest. And so, therefore I will have an agenda to never hear—H-E-A-R—never hear the other person. I’ll never hear the other person’s meaning because I’ve got this thing that says, “No, I’m right and you must agree with me.” It’s like fear driving me. And what we need, is to hear one another. Hear one another and connect. There is so much that we can connect to from another person if we’re willing just to really listen to them. That is the Truth.
I mean, I have talked to thousands of people in my life. I’ve had the fortunate experiences that I’ve had to interact with so many thousands of people, and we are more alike than we are dis-alike. We need to hear the other and connect. Connection is not agreement with; it’s understanding of.
Let me say that again. Being connected does not mean you agree with someone, like, agree with their beliefs, or their ideas, or their behavior. It means you understand their feelings. You understand how they got there. You can validate and say, “Oh my goodness, that human experience, though I don’t resonate with it, or though I don’t agree with the choices you made, I get your emotion around it. I get how you feel. I know what it feels like to be scared, or confused, or lonely, or sad, or desperate. I get it, I get it, I get it.” That’s what understanding someone is about. That’s what connection is about; it’s not agreement with. It’s understanding of.
I want you to think about where you stand on all of this. I mean, I’ve said a lot of things already in this podcast. I’m curious about how you feel about what I’ve been talking about. Are you triggered? Are you upset? Are you confused? Do you know what my motive is?
Let me tell you what my motive is again. My motive is to invite anyone who’s listening to this to become curious about their own interpretations of their own words. That’s it. That’s as simple as it is. It is not to incite you. It is to humbly ask you, “Please know what’s motivating you, so that you know why it is that you’re reacting and responding the way you are.”
I have another question for you. I want you to ask yourself, what is your level of consciousness with your motives? Like, how aware are you of your motives. So, where are am I conscious and where am I not, around what’s driving me? Like, do I know why I react when I get physically hot? Like, if I’m standing outside and it’s 100 degrees outside, and all of a sudden I start getting really cranky, do I know why I’m reacting that way? Do I know why I respond the way I do when someone says, “No, you can’t have that”? Or do I understand why I respond the way I do when someone says, “Yes, I’d love to do that with you”? And then, as you become aware of what your motives are, how aware are you in particular relationships of what your motives are?
So, I might know what I think when I’m by myself, however I get totally lost about what I think when I’m in a relationship with Bob. But when I get into a relationship with John, I feel totally connected to myself and I know exactly what I think. So, you are responsible to know what relationships you lose your consciousness in.
Do you know what your beliefs are? What your values are? Or do you blindly follow and don’t have your own convictions? Everything about me is all about being connected to my motives. All of it. Everything about me is about me knowing what my motives are. So, that’s a big deal.
There is a significant difference between… the first thing I’m going to read to you or share with you is about love. The second piece is about being co-dependent. So, one’s about connection, and one’s about disconnection. So, love, true love, is about connecting. There is a significant difference between understanding, hearing, validating, appreciating a person’s emotions, their experience, their history, their past history and their more present history, and their life’s journeys. There’s a significant difference between that presentation which is very loving, and condoning, or enabling, or agreeing with, or supporting when you really don’t, the other’s behavioral choices when you really don’t agree with it. That’s called co-dependency.
So, there is a significant difference between I am connected in love, or I’m connected in this illusion called co-dependency. I say “connected”—you really can’t be connected when you’re in a co-dependent relationship. But it sure feels connected because I’m agreeing with you, but I never tell you I don’t agree with you, I just go along with it. I enable it. And it is very dishonest. So, I’m not being real with you.
And so, we could go on for years and me not be real for you. I mean, I’m talking decades we could do this. I could never really be honest with you or myself because I just don’t want the possible outcome that could happen if I were honest with you. That my friends, is not love, that is not connection. If you are in relationships where you’re showing up like that or you’re in relationships where someone’s showing up that way with you, oh my goodness, you need to confront either yourself or the other person and say, “Listen, I don’t want your dishonesty. I want you to be real and I want you to be honest with me, even if I don’t like what you say, even if you come to me and say I’m done, I’m out, I’m angry at you, I spiked your drink last night.” Whatever the Truth is, you want to know Truth. You do not want someone or yourself to be walking around feigning love when really they’re not present in that.
So, if you don’t know you, if you don’t know your values, your beliefs, your morals, your thoughts, your feelings—if you don’t understand your behavior, you cannot—cannot—know your motives. Therefore, you won’t know how to be emotionally honest or know the meaning of the words you speak. And if you won’t be, or don’t know how to be, or are scared to be emotionally honest, it is likely because the meaning of words—your words—scare you. Like, you don’t want what your meaning is for the words, you don’t want the outcome of that.
You haven’t fully owned that you, and you alone, get to put your own meaning on to your words. No one else gets to. No one. You are completely responsible for that, and if you are scared to own that, you are shirking your responsibility as a member of this society, a member of your family, a member of your social group. You are dropping you and saying, “My voice is not important, and therefore I won’t speak for myself.” So, please, please, please don’t do that. Please don’t do that. We need you. We need you in society. We need you present. We need your connection. Don’t just follow along because the masses are doing it or saying it. Whatever the cause, whatever the conflict, whatever the ideology, think for yourself! Feel for yourself! Connect with you! And then, share you. You need to be able to share you, and why you feel and why you believe the way you do because this will be your testimony, your conviction.
Those feelings and emotions that you have, that are present inside you, when you’re being emotionally honest about you, you will not attempt to control another person. So, this is why it’s so important that you’re honest, because when we’re not honest, we will start controlling. It’s just the way it is. The second you drop honesty, you will begin to try to control some thing or someone.
If you’re willing to be emotionally honest, you will offer the beautiful gift of choice to another because you won’t be trying to control them. You’ll honor their own agency. This is one way to check yourself if your motives are pure, and honest, and responsible for yourself. Okay? If you want to see if you have pure motives, look and see if you’re trying to control something. If your motives are pure and honest, like if your meanings are really true for you, and you’re being real with yourself and another person, you will not violate another’s agency. You won’t violate their ability to choose. You won’t get angry at them if they choose something different than you.
If your motives are not pure, you will desire to say, “I’m right, you’re wrong.” Or you’ll desire to say, “This is how it should be.”
You will want to dictate. You will want to say, “This is the right way,” and that’s just not the case. You will want to say to them, “You have to agree with me or else … you don’t care, you don’t love me, etc.”
Placing your own meaning onto words is what true personal freedom is about. Freedom of choice. The Truth is this: that God—your Higher Power—wants you to experience freedom—not control. Not control. You were born to be free, to think, and to feel, and to speak in a way where you have freedom to understand one another, and to have the freedom to disagree without losing the relationship. Think of these questions:
When we live in a society where we are attempting to control other people, could it be that we are afraid of many things
, one being what words mean?
Could we be afraid of personal responsibility and being accountable? Could we be afraid that honesty will hurt—either hurt me or hurt someone else? Be afraid of that. It doesn’t mean that it will but are we afraid that it might?
Could we be afraid that my distorted thoughts and false beliefs might be real? Let me say that again. My distortions might be real, could I be afraid that my distortions might be real? And so, I do all in my power to protect and defend myself from that “reality”, when the real true Reality is that you’re divine, you are loved, you are adored and cherished. You are enough. And that those distortions are LIES. Even though the distortion tells you that they’re the Truth, they are lies.
So, when I’m living in fear and reacting to fear, it drives me to want to control something. I mean, that is the plight of the human family, when I’m not willing to be honest with myself, it will drive me to want to control, and I can control anything. I can be controlling my weight, what I eat, what I say, how I act, the temperature around me—I am trying to control something or someone because I feel some kind of fear around my dishonesty.
So, look at your history and what you fear. When we start recognizing our fears, don’t we just keep feeling the fear over and over and over again? Like, don’t we fear the same thing just repeatedly? And don’t we try to control similar things because we have the same fear going on over and over again? What we fear or don’t understand—what we want or attempt to control.
So, let’s start with words and know what our words mean, so we don’t have to be afraid of them or afraid of what others may mean about those words.
I’m only responsible for me and my interpretation I place on my words. I will be accountable for me and what is in my heart.
Am I willing to not be accountable for someone else? Am I willing to speak freely and be honest about my own meanings? And be responsible for own interpretations of my words? And give others the same freedoms. Am I willing to do that? Or do I have so much fear that I don’t know that I can do that.
If all of us will engage in this type of honesty and personal responsibility, we’ll be able to connect with anyone. Now, that’s a tall order. If all of us will engage in this type of honesty and being personally accountable, because the thing that disconnects us the fastest is that we see (or we interpret) that someone doesn’t hear us, or someone doesn’t appreciate us, or someone doesn’t connect with us. It scares us when that happens, and so I feel like I have to control someone’s interpretation in order for them to connect with me, and that just is not the case. What we all need is for people to emotionally understand where I’m coming from, because all of us are living on the planet, and we’re all having very similar experiences emotionally.
So, don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid of other’s meanings. Be curious about them, ask them questions about what their words mean and how they interpret their lives. Get curious about where they’ve been and why they feel the way they do. And how they came up with the meanings that they do. Get curious. Don’t sit in the background and say, “Oh, their meaning doesn’t fit with my meaning so therefore they’re dangerous, or they’re wrong, or they’re bad, or they’re going to hurt me.” Please, please, do all you can to refrain from reacting in that way. Think about the commonalities between you and the other person.
This is how you will connect with you, with God, your Higher Power, and most importantly, with other people who are living on this planet with us.[ENDS]
See the following materials for more in-depth study of the topics in this podcast: